At the flea market Luise discovers an old wax cylinder, used to record sound more than a century ago. The label reveals it was recorded in 1903, in Vienna’s second district, where Luise happens to live. What does the voice from the past have to say? How well do we listen and what are we willing to hear? The characters in Poiarkov’s immersive debut novel deal with these questions as they face their own issues: Luise’s boyfriend Emil, a sound archivist who loves recording cracking ice and rumbling streets; Luise’s friend Milan who passionately yearns for beautiful Zorica from Novi Sad; her other friend Julia who must face her alcoholic mother; and Josef Grasl, Luise’s father, who roams the streets in search of ghosts from the past.
One hot day in August Elena celebrates her 88th birthday. Everyone is there: her daughters Martina and Renate, her grandson Daniel and his girlfriend Sasha. Their celebration is abundant, with lots of honey schnapps, wild polkas, and much joy. And yet, all Elena can think about is Martina’s childhood friend Rike who fell to her death from the cherry tree right here in the garden fifty years ago.
Tina Pruschmann’s intense and heart-felt debut novel delves deep into the lives and fates of its characters. It examines those special moments in life, those turning points that determine our future. They are days of irrevocable decisions; days when time and all its promises and desires come to a standstill.
Terrorists shoot into a crowd at Bataclan in Paris killing dozens; Guardians of public morals have thousands beheaded during the French Revolution with the aim of realizing the "ideals of enlightenment"; Dostojevsky's "Demons" murder because their nihilism has destroyed any sense of morals – What goes on in these minds? How can people declare themselves lords over life and death, thus putting themselves above God? When they act in the name of God or political ideals, Wali claims provocatively, they are in fact enacting the opposite: What drives these murderers is a fascination with violence, the feeling of absolute power, the desire to spread mortal fear, and the wish to destroy the social fundament of trust.
A man and a woman. She: Pernilla Brigido, once an acclaimed theater actress, now a charmingly elegant, vivacious septuagenarian member of Vienna's society. He: Ildefons Krehmayr, known as Illo, affluent master builder, divorcee and father of a puberty-struck daughter. He's twenty years younger and has led a life with temperate passions and ambitions. Coincidence crosses their paths and so begins a ravishingly outrageous love story that Pernilla and Illo waltz through with the grace of well-trained dancers. Until one of them makes a wrong move and oversteps a boundary better left uncrossed. But when the curtain rises once again, the two star-crossed lovers have already set out on a summery roadtrip…
In an unnamed wasteland we see the blinking lights of Lightraff, an artificial town that was speedily built around an oil refinery and promises work in a world destroyed by climate disasters. Koslov, a barkeeper in Darkraff, is hoping to find his luck there, just like famer Schreiber and super slick Haye, who even managed to get a job in the municipality. The three share more than their hopes for better life in Lightraff: They share a single bed in shifts – eight hours a night for each man. Once the oil runs dry and the city's tight structure starts to flail, the three bed-sharers meet for the first time. Henceforth, things simply can't go well…
Philine has a mom with a fickle love life and a bunch of changing dads. Instead of going to school she prefers going around the school and in water she turns into a fish. Then she also looses her foothold on land. After a breakdown, Philine moves to a quiet village, where she meets Planta – Planta-who-has-a-plan. Planta who serves her the best scrambled eggs ever at dawn and whose eyes are as blue as a shark pool. He shows her all there is to see, the highest and lowest places, and the bottle house at the lake, where everyone is welcome. Another life seems within reach, a happy, care-free life. But when winter comes and the bottle house commune breaks up, Philine decides not to break and holds on to everything that was, everything that wasn't, and everything that can't be held on to because it's somewhere between the lines and slips through your fingers like the quickest fish in the world: like everything you need to know.
A small consolation for 21st century parents: Mothers and fathers have had to face a load of challenges since forever. This tongue-in-cheek book charmingly traces what it was like to be a parent in past eras. Living up to the expectations of being a "good parent" has never been easy. Advice on conception and pregnancy was supposed to help create ideal circumstances before the child was even born. Infant care and child-rearing strategies have changed like seasons in the course of history. What is timeless, however, is parents' love for their offspring. Our ancestors already knew: Puberty is a critical phase and more than one ambitious father's plan was thwarted by teenage rebellion.
What's the moral of the story? Most parents pulled through and humankind did not go extinct. So moms and dads, stay calm and carry on!
Throughout the world, hi-tech reproduction medicine is paving the way for whole new forms of intervention into human life. Between supply and demand, a global market for dream-child medicine has grown up, its services ranging from in-vitro fertilisation to selecting the child’s sex, from illustrated catalogues of semen and egg-cell donors to the provision of surrogate mothers. Looking at this vast array, Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim asks some urgent, critical questions: are the wishes of parents choosing their ideal child compatible with that child’s needs? Should everything technically possible actually be done? And if not, what are the limits and who should define them?
Under right-wing populist Michael Hichl, Austria has become a despotically ruled police state. Dissidents, foreigners, and homosexuals are made illegal, the country is run down, and border regions are abused as cheap production sites where the rural population and regime critics slave away in sweatshops. We meet some drifters cluelessly wandering around Austria: Emma with her dilettante assassination plans, opportunistic former callboy Pascal, Alwine who's searching for the love of her, and Wolferl the no-good son of Hichl's chief PR guy who can't get over the murder of his ex-girlfriend Valli Putschek. But something is going on in Upper Austria's impoverished Mühlviertel: Austria's first terror militia, the "Christian Republic" is making its way towards the hills around Linz. Just then the four lost souls cross paths and things quickly get out of hand.
Creativity has never been as topical as it is today. It is no longer the privilege of few, but is rather considered a basic human skill. If you want to be up to date, you better choose something like poetry or expressive dance, painting or spinning the decks. The pressure to be creative overwhelms a lot of people and produces more stress than release. As a result, many seek new ways to be creative and inspiration is in high demand. Consumer products advertise with mentally stimulating qualities, while the wellness industry thrives on the promise of uncovering hidden creativity deep within. And art is no longer expected to produce great masterpieces, but is rather called upon to create creative atmospheres.
Creativity as a problem – Wolfgang Ullrich's unexpected ideas shed new light on the subject.